On the latest “Ross Report” podcast, which also features an interview with Impact Wrestling’s Drew Galloway, host and WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross discussed several topics in wrestling this week, and below are some highlights. You can listen to the entire podcast at this link.
On Wrestle Kingdom 11:
It is the talk of much of the pro wrestling world. The event saw around 35,000 fans in the arena. It has been an critically acclaimed main event between Okada, defending the IWGP Heavyweight title against Kenny Omega, may have been the best bout in televised pro wrestling history, which by the way is a massive statement to make. The Wrestling Observer, Dave Meltzer gave the match his first ever six-star rating. I can tell you that I briefly watched the show because I am voicing it over this week with Josh Barnett and want to be able to see the show and feel it organically and not precondition myself. I want to be able to react what I see.
On WWE Raw vs. BCS National Title Game:
Alabama and Clemson, stayed pretty close in the homestretch of Raw, which didn’t give Raw any breaks. In any event, Shawn Michaels came on to promote his movie and Undertaker came on to promote his involvement at the Royal Rumble in San Antonio. Undertaker entering the Royal Rumble is a big move, it’s important. It’s shaping up to be one heck of a match. Again, there’s a lot of tickets that need to be sold for the Alamo Dome, so it’s good to see Taker back, and seemingly & strategically used by him. Every time we see him is a blessing because it’s obvious he has many more years ahead of him. Undertaker being on Raw helped the Royal Rumble, and allow Michaels to get a rub for Rusev–even though I didn’t quite understand it.
On Wrestlemania 2018:
It was announced that Wrestlemania is going to be back at the Super Dome in New Orleans, Louisiana. I mentioned it last week while at the Sugar Bowl, watching the Oklahoma Sooners vs Auburn Tigers. In any event, Wrestlemania was coming back, and are very happy for the city. Wrestlemania back to New Orleans, same building that Undertaker’s streak died, so Undertaker in the Rumble is good news. Good for the Rumble. Now there is this fantasy booking. We’re not even sure they will be in the ring at the same time. You have to imagine that Lesnar and Goldberg will cross-paths because you have to get them to Wrestlemania. So, do they self-destruct and clear Undertaker to win the Rumble?
On Kenny Omega:
I think Kenny Omega is amused that so many fans have misrepresented or misinterpreting his quotes about Wrestle Kingdom 11. He didn’t win the title in the main event, but had a career-offering match for people to talk about years from now, which is one hell of an accomplishment. His in-ring persona, that guy didn’t get the job done so he’s going to go away and kind of regroup, mentally and physically heal, and then create a new plan of attack. I say that Kenny will come back to win the IWGP Heavyweight Title against Okada in the early summer. I think Kenny Omega will be the champion when New Japan tours Southern California in early July. I think the booking he’s using, to be put back into meaningless matches, the guy is smart. He’s a smart kid as far as booking is concerned. This is what it tells me; if WWE has Kenny Omega on its radar, which I assume they do. How could they not? Omega’s contract is allegedly up on January 31st, so he will not be at the Royal Rumble, no matter what John Cena’s Instagram may have adverted to. It is very clever by John by the way, it got a pop out of me. Omega is the kind of guy that if you want to hire him you have to come up with the right money offer and the other seed, he’s going to want to know how you are going to book him, how will you present him, what will his lot in life be in creative; because it starts and ends right there. Will he have the opportunity to contribute to his own creativity? In the mean time, what is the big picture goal? WWE Title? Main Event Wrestlemania? There are specifics he can ask about, so I think that is what he’s going to have to hear, which I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. Gosh, why would you hire a top-level talent and not use him? That seems logical to me, so I think Kenny Omega will stick with New Japan right now, but I also don’t know what type of “Full-Court Press” the WWE will do to make him not re-sign with New Japan at the end of January and give them the opportunity to get in the hunt. I just think it’s going to take more than money; it’ll be more money and better creative positioning. Kenny Omega wants to be the guy; it’s easy to say that, well everybody comes here gets to be “the guy,” but no they don’t. Everyone doesn’t deserve to be “the guy” because not everyone can be “the guy,” so that is what I will tell you.